Thug threatened to spit at Sheffield tram worker and said her grandkids would die of Covid

A thug who threatened to spit at a Sheffield tram worker after he had claimed he had symptoms of Covid-19 has been put behind bars.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 10:04 am

Michael Brearley, formerly of South View, Darfield, Barnsley, claimed to have Covid-19 symptoms and that he could therefore travel for free on the Sheffield tram but when he was challenged he responded with abuse and threats, according to a Sheffield Crown Court hearing.

Recorder Darren Preston told the hearing on March 18 that 34-year-old Brearley became abusive and made threats to the female tram worker that she and her grandchildren would die of Covid-19 and he insulted her.

Brearley also formed spit in his mouth, according to Recorder Preston, and lowered his mask and made the tram worker think he would spit and infect her.

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Sheffield Crown Court heard how a thug's Covid-19 spitting threat at a tram worker in Sheffield has landed him in prison.

Recorder Preston said: “She’s entitled to be protected from people like you and she’s entitled to feel she can go to work safely. This is appalling behaviour at any time but it’s particularly alarming and horrid at a time of a pandemic.”

Brearley, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to assault on the basis of causing fear of serious injury after the incident on February 3.

He also admitted committing a burglary from January 19 at Laundry Point laundrette, on Barber Road, Crookes Valley, Sheffield, after he had been given a community order for another offence.

Recorder Preston said Brearley already had a suspended prison sentence when he was given a chance with the community order as an alternative to prison and he repaid that opportunity by burgling a laundrette.

Recorder Preston told Brearley: “You did so in the middle of this pandemic when businesses are finding it hard and this business owner came close to being driven out of business and the effect was enormous.”

Brearley, now of no fixed abode, also admitted a theft from a Boots, in Sheffeld, from February 2, when he stole toothbrush heads, a nose hair trimmer and makeup valued at £60.

Recorder Preston acknowledged Brearley has long-standing drug issues, has been homeless and has led a chaotic lifestyle but he revoked the defendant’s community order and sentenced him to 12 months of custody.

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